34 th Judicial District Substance Abuse Study Guide

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1 34 th Judicial District Substance Abuse Study Guide What is Drug Addiction? 2 It is characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences. Most Commonly Abused Drugs 1 Alcohol Heroin Methamphetamine Bath Salts Inhalants Prescription Drugs Club Drugs (GHB, Rohypnol) Synthetic Marijuana Salvia Cocaine Marijuana Steroids Hallucinogens MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Tobacco/Nicotine Illicit Drug Use 1 In 2012, an estimated 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older or 9.2 percent of the population had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month. 230 Million people, or 1 in 20 adults, are estimated to have used an illicit drug at least once in

2 Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse 1 Cardiovascular Researchers have found a connection between the abuse of most drugs and adverse cardiovascular effects, ranging from abnormal heart rate to heart attacks. Injection drug use can also lead to cardiovascular problems such as collapsed veins and bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves. Respiratory Drug abuse can lead to a variety of respiratory problems. Smoking cigarettes, for example, has been shown to cause bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. Marijuana smoke may also cause respiratory problems. The use of some drugs may also cause breathing to slow, block air from entering the lungs or exacerbate asthma symptoms. Gastrointestinal Effects Among other adverse effects, many drugs of abuse have been known to cause nausea and vomiting soon after use. Cocaine use can also cause abdominal pain. Musculoskeletal Effects Steroid use during childhood or adolescence, resulting in artificially high sex hormone levels, can signal the bones to stop growing earlier than they normally would have, leading to short stature. Other drugs may also cause severe muscle cramping and overall muscle weakness. Kidney Damage Some drugs may cause kidney damage or failure, either directly or indirectly from dangerous increases in body temperature and muscle breakdown. Liver Damage Chronic use of some drugs, such as heroin, inhalants and steroids, may lead to significant damage to the liver. Neurological Effects All drugs of abuse act in the brain to produce their euphoric effects; however some of them also have severe negative consequences in the brain such as seizures, stroke, and widespread brain damage that can impact all aspects of daily life. Drug use can also cause brain changes that lead to problems with memory, attention and decision- making. Mental Health Effects Chronic use of some drugs of abuse can cause long- lasting changes in the brain, which may lead to paranoia, depression, aggression, and hallucinations.

3 How do I know if I am addicted? 1 If you can t stop taking a drug even if you want to, or if the urge to use drugs is too strong to control, even if you know the drug is causing harm, you might be addicted. Here are some questions to ask yourself: Do you think about drugs a lot? Did you ever try to stop or cut down on your drug usage but couldn't? Have you ever thought you couldn't fit in or have a good time without the use of drugs? Do you ever use drugs because you are upset or angry at other people? Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you? Have you ever taken one drug to get over the effects of another? Have you ever made mistakes at a job or at school because you were using drugs? Does the thought of running out of drugs really scare you? Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to pay for drugs? Have you ever been arrested or in the hospital because of your drug use? Have you ever overdosed on drugs? Has using drugs hurt your relationships with other people? If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, you might have an addiction. People from all backgrounds can get an addiction. How do I know if my teen or young adult has a substance abuse disorder? 1 If an adolescent starts behaving differently for no apparent reason such as acting withdrawn, frequently tired or depressed, or hostile it could be a sign he or she is developing a drug- related problem. Parents and others may overlook such signs, believing them to be a normal part of puberty. Other signs include: A change in peer group Carelessness with grooming Decline in academic performance Missing classes or skipping school Loss of interest in favorite activities Trouble in school or with the law Changes in eating or sleeping habits Deteriorating relationships with family members and friends

4 Treatment 3 According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration s (SAMHSA s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (9.3 percent of persons aged 12 or older). Of these, only 2.6 million 11.2 percent of those who needed treatment received it at a specialty facility. By Drug: Admissions to Publicly Funded Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, 2008 Percentage of Admissions Substance or Drug 23.1 Alcohol only 18.3 Alcohol + another drug 17.0 Marijuana 14.1 Heroin 8.1 Smoked cocaine (crack) 6.5 Stimulants 5.9 Opiates (not heroin) 3.2 Nonsmoked cocaine (e.g., cocaine powder) 0.6 Tranquilizers 0.2 PCP 0.2 Sedatives 0.1 Hallucinogens 0.1 Inhalants 0.4 Other drugs 2.2 None reported Treatment Help 1 Admitting that help is needed is often the hardest and most important step to getting treatment. There are several places to get referrals for treatment in your area: Visit your primary care physician for a referral Contact a local addiction specialist Visit the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry website at aaap.org for their Patient Referral Program Call the Mental Health Facility Treatment Locator at HELP Revised May 2015

5 RESOURCES 1. National Institute on Drug Abuse 2. Drug Abuse Treatment.org abuse- treatment.org 3. US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 4. World Health Organization (WHO) Disclaimer: The information contained in this course was gathered from reference sources cited and prepared solely for the purpose of providing information. The developer is not liable for any loss arising from the use of the information contained in this course.

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